best Convertible Car Seat and baby

Choosing a best Convertible Car Seat

best Convertible Car Seat Choosing very important step. “Convertible car seats” are named because they can be switched from rear-facing to forward-facing. These car seats are great for older babies and young toddlers because they can be adjusted to account for growth spurts, and they’re designed to fit a wide range of heights and weights. For any car seat, it’s very important to buy one that fits your child and your vehicle, and one that you can use properly every time. Not all convertible car seats are created equal, though. When buying a best convertible car seat, here are some features and considerations to keep in mind.

Weight Limits

Convertible car seats used to be sold in a pretty standard range of weight limits, so it was a bit easier to choose among them. Today, though, there are lots of differences in car seat weight limits, so you’ll want to be sure you pay close attention to not only the highest weight limit listed, but the weights for each mode – rear-facing or forward-facing. Some car seats have a rear-facing weight limit of 30 pounds, while others can be used rear-facing until 40 pounds or more. The newest safety research tells us to keep babies and toddlers rear-facing as long as possible. That means it’s wise to look for the highest rear-facing weight that fits your vehicle and your budget.

Once your toddler is ready to ride forward-facing, you may want to look for high weight limits there, too. It’s safer to stay in the 5-point harness longer versus moving to a booster seat and vehicle seat belt. The lowest available forward-facing weight limit is 40 pounds. Most kids will hit that weight before they’re ready to move to a booster. Other best convertible car seats have forward-facing weight limits of 70 pounds or more. If you’re planning to buy a combination car seat that has a forward-facing harness and becomes a booster later on, you could choose a best convertible car seat with a lower weight limit. If you’re hoping to graduate your child from the convertible right to a booster, though, go with the higher weight limit.

Some convertible car seats have an extra step that allows them to become a booster seat. These seats are often called 3-in-1 or all-in-one car seats. When you’re looking at weight limits on this type of car seat, it’s very important to note which weight is the maximum for the harness and wich one is for the booster. A seat that is labeled on the box as birth to 80 pounds may be referring to a booster weight, while the harness weight is much lower.

Height Limits

Most manufacturers list height limits for rear- and forward-facing, too. For some car seats, the manual may tell you to check how your child’s head is in relation to the top of the shell, or where the shoulders are in relation to the harness slots. The fit is the key to determining when a seat is outgrown in those cases. Other car seat manuals may want you to go strictly by your child’s height. While all convertible car seats have several harness slots or a sliding harness system to adjust the fit, the height of those slots varies widely. Check to see how high the top harness slot is on any convertible car seat you consider. The higher the slot, the longer it can be used, since that slot needs to be at or above your child’s shoulders when forward-facing. The height of the car seat’s shell is also important. More shell height also means a longer useful life for a car seat.

Best Convertible Car Seat for Newborns

Some parents want to skip the infant-only car seat and go right to a convertible. That’s possible, now more than ever, but you do need to be especially careful in choosing a Best convertible car seat if you go that route. Because these car seats are designed to hold larger toddlers, newborns can easily get lost in that huge seat. There are some convertible car seats, though, that have a set of very low harness slots that could work for a newborn. Some also come with special padding to help take up some of the space around a small baby in the big seat. If the car seat doesn’t come with newborn padding, you shouldn’t buy after-market accessories, such as head supports or torso padding, to try to make the baby fit. Only padding that came from the manufacturer has been crash-tested with the seat.

Vehicle Fit

You can fall in love with one of the best car seats on the market, but if it doesn’t fit well in your vehicle, it isn’t safe. The tall shell that works so nicely to protect tall toddlers can be problematic in rear-facing mode in small vehicles. Sometimes the angle of a car seat’s base doesn’t play nicely with the slope of the vehicle seat. If others need to ride in the back seat with baby, the car seat width can also be an issue. If possible, try the car seat in rear-facing and forward-facing mode in your vehicle before you buy it. If you can’t try it first, be sure to buy it from a store {For Example} with a very good return policy so you can exchange it if necessary.

If your vehicle has LATCh, try out the car seat’s LATCh connectors and make sure you can attach and detach them easily in both modes. Even if you intend to use LATCh, try out the seat belt installation, too. Make sure you can get the seat belt through the belt paths, and that you can buckle the seat belt and tighten it so that there’s less than an inch of movement from side to side and front to back. Also check the recline angle in rear-facing mode. Do the front seats interfere with the angle of the car seat?

Convenience Features

All car seats sold in the U.S. have to meet the same safety standards. Some Best convertible car seats have convenience features that make them easier to use, though, which can increase safety if it helps you ensure you’re using the car seat properly each time. Some features that might make buckling baby up a bit easier include no-rethread harnesses, built-in seat belt lock-offs, adjustable head rests, premium push-button LATCh connectors, and thicker twist-proof harness straps. You can go without most of these features and save some cash, but you’ll need to take some extra time to make sure baby is safe each time you’re on the road.